East Tytherley is stepping back in time this weekend to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
The village will be recalling the Normandy landings at its popular Country Fayre, which takes place tomorrow (Saturday) and includes a history exhibition that continues into Sunday.
Vintage displays and music from the era will reflect the 1940s theme and tell the story of the large American Army base at Lockerley Hall, which played an important role in Operation Overlord.
Residents will also be remembering the four men from the village who lost their lives during the Second World War. It is planned to use proceeds from the fayre to help erect a memorial to them in St Peter’s Church alongside the Greart War plaque.
Little is known about George W. Dodd, Thomas Laver and Ronald Sillence. The fourth man, Owen Frank Marsh, was born in East Tytherley in 1907, the youngest of seven children.
In 1924, aged 17, he joined the Royal Navy but was one of the 833 men killed when HMS Royal Oak became the first battleship to be lost in the Second World War – it sank in just 19 minutes in Scapa Flow on October 14th, 1939, after being torpedoed by a German submarine.
Fayre organiser Joanne Nash explained: “There is a memorial in the church to those who died in the First World War but the names of the Second World War dead are recorded on a silver chalice that is locked in a safe for security.
“The Parochial Church Council has commissioned a Second World War memorial using donations from Peter Redshaw’s funeral and proceeds from the fayre will help towards the cost as well as pay for the third and final phase of renovation work at the church.”
Visitors to the fayre are encouraged to come dressed in period costume with prizes for the best outfits.
Singer Amy Baker will be performing Vera Lynn classics and other songs from the era while the Lockerley Mechanical Society is mounting an exhibition of maps, photographs, models and artefacts that tell the story of East Tytherley during wartime. Military vehicles will also be on display.
The fayre will also feature falconry displays, gun dog demonstrations, have-a-go archery, children’s petting farm, vintage steam engines and fun dog show among the attractions.
The event is run by local volunteers with the aid of a grant of over £800 from the Aster Neighbourhood Panel.
Joanne said: “East Tytherley may be the smallest village in the Test Valley, with a population of only 200, but we are very proud of it and look forward to sharing it with people this weekend.”
East Tytherley Country Fayre opens at midday tomorrow (Saturday) in the grounds of Oaklands House and runs to 5.30pm but the entertainment continues into the evening with a hog roast and live band and the history exhibition is also open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm. For more information visit easttytherley.org.uk If any readers have photo, memories or artefacts from the 1940s reflecting life in East Tytherley that they would be willing to share? The organisers would love to hear from you.
Come along to the fayre or the history exhibition, or contact Rob Scoones (robertscoones@ hotmail.com) or Joanne Nash (firstname.lastname@example.org).